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Why did HL7 Version 3 fail?

With the adoption of HL7 FHIR taking baby steps across the NHS, it is worth pondering why the new standard exists in the first place. Successful interoperability can be defined as knowing what information is to be sent and received by two systems, when the transaction occurred and why the information was exchanged in the first place. This 'what', 'when' and 'why' represents a complete end to end package; defined and re-usable. HL7 V3 was designed to be this package but it is generally seen to be a failure. Where HL7 V2 was exceptionally flexible, it could not be relied upon to carry standardised information and carried risk that each message needed to be re-engineered at some point in the transmission. There are several ways of

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